love and caring

i can’t even keep a cactus alive
i forget to feed the fish
my sims, playing god,
kept in bowls
floating squarely upside down
i bet if i kept the cold
virus inside a petri dish
in my dirty room, it would die
as well as any pet,
as sticks and stones
collected as a child, coloured in
snapped or shattered, inevitably lost
and yet
and yet

in nine months’ time
i will be
one hundred percent loaded
a poorly dressed specimen
of adult human life
imaginal stage, caged
bug eyed girl
growing moths, cultivating mould
far too scared to be so old
still packed in with cotton wool
all bundled up inside myself
walking on eggshells
wings wrapped around my head
a feather bed, an endless humming
to block out every bump 
in the night

my body is a cephalopod, sucker
attaching to every 
rock or hard place, petrified
of the space between myself and
love and caring
needing a taste of everything
that looks safe to ingest
my restless limbs
can neither hold you nor let you go

whereas my cactus heart
tears skin and fingers far apart
the second we huddle in 
too close, pins and needles
a pillowful of hurt,
a careful collection,
dessicated exhibit
iron maiden 
cold and unbeholden,
longing to be held

i am half empty, i need water,
so much that i could die.

The End

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